Elton John guitarist John Jorgenson confirmed as Acoustic Guitarist of the Year judge

Elton John guitarist and Acoustic Guitarist of the Year judge John Jorgenson
(Image credit: Takamine guitars)

There’s still time to enter Acoustic Guitarist of the Year 2019, with entries set to close on 3 July. If confirmed judges Molly Tuttle and Andy McKee – plus a fantastic six-stringed prize from sponsor Takamine Guitars – aren’t enough to inspire you to enter, we’re pleased to confirm that John Jorgenson, currently touring with Elton John, has joined our esteemed judging panel.


Close-up of acoustic guitar player

(Image credit: Future)

American guitarist and multi-instrumentalist Jorgenson is best known for his sterling guitar work with acts including the Desert Rose Band and The Hellecasters, but through his career has also collaborated with a plethora of first-rate musicians including Earl Scruggs, Bonnie Raitt, Elton John, Luciano Pavarotti, Bob Dylan and many others, in addition to his own outfits covering a range of styles from bluegrass to gypsy jazz.

What’s more, John is no stranger to awards himself, bagging the Academy of Country Music’s Guitarist of the Year gong two years in a row.

John is looking forward to watching shortlisted entries and shared some useful tips for prospective entrants: “Choose a good sounding and inspiring spot to make your video clip. A dry-sounding bedroom will not show you off at your best, so maybe try your school’s performance hall, a church or special local spot. And make sure the sound quality is as good as you can get. Not distorted, but full range and ‘acoustic’ sounding.”

Make sure the sound quality is as good as you can get. Not distorted, but full range and ‘acoustic’ sounding

In terms of the piece you play, John has some additional advice. “Choose a piece you’re really confident at, so you can put all your energy into the feeling of the song as opposed to worrying if you’ll execute the tricky licks. And remember, you’re actually performing for people, not just a camera. Show some personality!”

Entering Acoustic Guitarist of the Year 2019 is easy: All you need to do is film yourself playing, upload the video to YouTube and submit the link using the form below. Don’t forget to read our rules for entering whilst you’re down there.

Enter the competition here!

8 tips for Acoustic Guitarist of the Year success

1. We need to see you play! No promo-style band videos or miming please.
2. Keep it musical. We’re all for fretboard madness and next-level sonics but not at the price of trusty musicality and genuine mastery of multiple techniques. This competition is open to all types of player.
3. Keep it tight and get to the point fast. Our experts are begging to be impressed, so 15 minutes of noodling won’t make the grade.
4. Make it impressive. Go for it. We want to see the full breadth of your skills in as tight a playing package as possible.
5. Just your best video please! Our experts are busy. Don’t make us wade through multiple entries where one would do.
6. Make it sound and look good! Smartphone audio can work fine, but remember to point the camera at yourself, not at the dog.
7. Want to enter all four categories? ‘Guitarist’, ‘Young Guitarist’, ‘Acoustic Guitarist’ and ‘Bassist’ of the Year? Go for it!
8. The Guitarist of the Year team and judges also want to know about the person behind the playing; use the ‘tell us about yourself box to explain what drew you to the guitar, what styles you favour, the gear you use, and anything else that could make you stand out.


1. All entries must be via videos uploaded to YouTube and submitted through the entry form above. No other emails or points of contact will be accepted.
2. Entries must be received by 23.59 (BST) on 3 July 2019.
3. Young Guitarist of the Year entrants must be 16 or under on 21 September 2019.
4. Don’t call us - we’ll call you if we like what you’re doing.
5. You need to be okay with us sharing your video to our wider online audience, appearing in Future Publishing magazines and playing live on stage at the UK Guitar Show in London on 21 or 22 September. Live performances will be filmed, photographed and live streamed.
6. You need to be available to travel to London for the live final and must cover all your own travel and accommodation costs for the event.
7. As ever, the judge’s decision – picking our finalists and our eventual winner – is final.

MusicRadar Team

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